Energy Saving Tips


Here are some energy saving tips that we could all use and help to reduce energy use, thereby lessening carbon emissions: 

  1. Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade; they use much less energy than desktop computers.
  2. Computers and monitors save energy only when the power management features are activated, so make sure power management is activated on your computer.
  3. In the average home or office, 25% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance.
  4. Studies have shown that using rechargeable batteries for products like cordless phones and PDAs is more cost effective than throwaway batteries. If you must use throwaways, check with your trash removal company about safe disposal options.

More about computers-

  • Here is a common misconception that screen savers reduce energy use by monitors; they do not. Automatic switching to sleep mode or manually turning monitors off is always the better energy-saving strategy.
  • To maximize savings with a laptop, put the AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off automatically); the transformer in the AC adapter draws power continuously, even when the laptop is not plugged into the adapter. 
  • Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use. 
  • Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use.
  • Turn off your personal computer when you're away from your PC for 20 minutes or more, and both the CPU and the monitor if you will be away for two hours or more.

Lighting:

  • Consider using high-intensity discharge (also called HID) or low-pressure sodium lights. 
  • Exterior lighting is one of the best places to use CFLs because of their long life. If you live in a cold climate, be sure to buy a lamp with a cold weather ballast since standard CFLs may not work well below 40°F. 
  • Turn off decorative outdoor natural gas lamps; just eight such lamps burning year-round use as much natural gas as it takes to heat an average-size home during an entire winter. 
  • Use outdoor lights with a photocell unit or a motion sensor so they will turn on only at night or when someone is present. A combined photocell and motion sensor will increase your energy savings even more. 
  • Consider using 4-watt mini-fluorescent or electro-luminescent night lights. Both lights are much more efficient than their incandescent counterparts. The luminescent lights are cool to the touch. 
  • If you have torchiere fixtures with halogen lamps, consider replacing them with compact fluorescent torchieres. Compact fluorescent torchieres use 60% to 80% less energy, can produce more light (lumens), and do not get as hot as the halogen torchieres. Halogen torchieres are a fire risk because of the high temperature of the halogen bulb. 
  • Take advantage of daylight by using light-colored, loose-weave curtains on your windows to allow daylight to penetrate the room while preserving privacy. Also, decorate with lighter colors that reflect daylight. 
  • Recessed downlights (also called recessed cans) are now available that are rated for contact with insulation (IC rated), are designed specifically for pin-based CFLs, and can be used in retrofits or new construction. 
  • Use CFLs in all the portable table and floor lamps in your home. Consider carefully the size and fit of these systems when you select them. Some home fixtures may not accommodate some of the larger CFLs. 
  • Consider using 4-watt minifluorescent or electro-luminescent night lights. Both lights are much more efficient than their incandescent counterparts. The luminescent lights are cool to the touch. 
  • Use 4-foot fluorescent fixtures with reflective backing and electronic ballasts for your workroom, garage, and laundry areas. 
  • Consider three-way lamps; they make it easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter light is not necessary. 
  • Use task lighting; instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example, use fluorescent under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops under cabinets. 
  • Turn off the lights in any room you're not using, or consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on. 
  • Install task lighting – such as under-counter kitchen lights or bathroom mirror lights – to reduce the need for ambient lighting of large spaces. 
  • Use dimmers, motion sensors, or occupancy sensors to automatically turn on or off lighting as needed and prevent energy waste. 
  • Install fluorescent light fixtures for all ceiling- and wall-mounted fixtures that will be on for more than 2 hours each day. 
  • Use ENERGY STAR® labeled lighting fixtures. 
  • Consider light wall colors to minimize the need for artificial lighting. 
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in place of comparable incandescent bulbs to save about 50 percent on your lighting costs. CFLs use only one-fourth the energy and last up to 10 times longer. 
  • Turn your lights off when you leave a room. Standard, incandescent light bulbs should be turned off whenever they are not needed. Fluorescent lights should be turned off whenever you'll be away for 15 minutes or more. 
  • During winter, open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows 
  • Installing a skylight can provide your home with daylighting and warmth. When properly selected and installed, an energy-efficient skylight can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs.

Travel:

  • Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.
  • Consider buying a highly fuel-efficient vehicle. A fuel-efficient vehicle, a hybrid vehicle, or an alternative fuel vehicle could save you a lot at the gas pump and help the environment. See the Fuel Economy Guide for more on buying a new fuel-efficient car or truck. 
  • Combine errands into one trip. Several short trips, each one taken from a cold start, can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. 
  • Replace clogged air filters to improve gas mileage by as much as 10% and protect your engine. 
  • Get regular engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks to avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, or transmission problems. 
  • Keep tires properly inflated and aligned to improve your gasoline mileage by around 3.3%. 
  • Use the grade of motor oil recommended by your car's manufacturer. Using a different motor oil can lower your gasoline mileage by 1%-2%. 
  • Check into telecommuting, carpooling and public transit to cut mileage and car maintenance costs. 
  • Reduce drag by placing items inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks. A roof rack or carrier provides additional cargo space and may allow you to buy a smaller car. However, a loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5%. 
  • Clear out your car; extra weight decreases gas mileage. 
  • Use air conditioning only when necessary. 
  • Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas. 
  • When you use overdrive gearing, your car's engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces wear. 
  • Avoid high speeds. Above 60 mph, gas mileage drops rapidly. The http://fueleconomy.gov/ Web site shows how driving speed affects gas mileage. 
  • Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking) wastes gas. It can lower your highway gas mileage 33% and city mileage 5%. 
  • Idling gets you 0 miles per gallon. The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. No more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days is needed. Anything more simply wastes fuel and increases emissions.